Are You Goal-Driven? How to Convey Your Drive in Interviews

Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW
By Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: October 26, 2022
Would You Describe Yourself As Goal Driven

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It’s fairly common to be asked the question ‘Would you describe yourself as goal-driven?’ during an interview. Employers want to evaluate the way you prioritize tasks and how independently you can accomplish them. By assessing whether or not you’re forward thinking- a hiring manager can learn a great deal about the way you’ll manage tasks or approach issues. You should show the interviewer that you can set- meet and exceed your own goals as well as those set for you by the company or management.

The hardest part of answering interview questions like these will be finding examples to share. Chances are you’re a goal-oriented person- even if you don’t recognize that about yourself. The simple fact that you’ve decided to apply for a job and have reached the interview step is proof that you can set a goal and work towards it. Once you can recognize yourself as goal-driven- it won’t be difficult to prepare a few examples to wow them at the interview.

How to Answer the Would You Describe Yourself as Goal-Driven? Interview Question

Tailor your response to the job

Anytime you apply for a job it’s a best practice to save a copy of the job description- and this is the reason why. Return to the job description during interview prep to ensure your answers match the expectations for the position. Since goals can vary depending on industry and job level- the best answers to this question will allow for those fluctuations. If you’re applying for a position in sales- it would be wise to discuss sales goals and the techniques you use to work towards and achieve your goals. If you can tailor your answer to the job you’ll be speaking the same language as your interviewer- helping to bridge the gap between all the things they don’t know about you and the things they want to know.

Explain how you apply this focus

It’s not enough just to be goal oriented; you need to see success as a direct result of focusing on your goals. If possible- share times that you flourished because a goal was met or as a result of the steps to reach a goal. This is a great opportunity to show you’re a company person as well. Talk about the ways that setting goals helps the organization achieve success- as well as yourself. You can also use this question to talk about how well you work independently and as part of a team. By sharing ways that goals help drive team behavior- you’re demonstrating an elevated level of understanding about team dynamics.

Prepare examples

You could easily answer such interview questions with a “yes-” but what would that tell someone about you? Give examples of how you’ve set goals in your professional career and make those examples tangible. Don’t forget to talk about positive outcomes and the ways you’ve learned and applied those lessons. Examples should highlight times you exceeded the goal as well as the steps you took from setting to achieving the goal. While preparing to answer this question- consider big accomplishments you’ve made and how you planned them. You can likely think backward and see how goal setting led to those successes. The best stories to tell are simple and true.

Sample Would You Describe Yourself as Goal-Driven?’ Interview Answers

1. I absolutely would define myself as goal-driven. I find that setting clear short- and long-term goals help me to keep focused while completing daily tasks. When it’s difficult to know which responsibilities should be prioritized- referring to my goals can often help make those priorities clear. Not only do I set specific- tangible goals- but I also set deadlines and create a plan to reach them. I encourage my team to similarly set goals and refer to them during strategic planning meetings. If the work we are doing does not contribute to a goal- we review it as a team and decide if our goals are aligning with our strategic plans.

2. As a salesperson I know how important it is to set specific- measured- achievable- realistic and time-bound goals. While others can become overwhelmed with an ambitious sales goal- I find the challenge helps to drive my vigor and enthusiasm. I believe in measuring progress with key performance indicators so that I can track completion of the goal. Whenever possible I use the data as indicators for future planning. In my position managing ad sales at ABC Company- my sales goal was $350-000 per quarter. During the first quarter of my first fiscal year with the company- I struggled to meet that goal. Measuring my successes and failures along the way helped me to manage my processes for the next quarter. I met my goal in the second quarter and surpassed it during the second half of the year. I’ve applied that mentality to every professional goal I’ve accomplished since.

Using the details above- you’re more than ready to answer one of the common interview questions and nail your dream job!

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